Header Graphic
Remembrances > My Father's Busines (From The Introductory)
My Father's Busines (From The Introductory)
Login  |  Register
Page: 1

Riverdale Ghost
341 posts
May 11, 2013
7:02 PM
There was the one day that Charlie, Jr., being about his father’s business, delivered the produce. That time for some reason — maybe it wasn’t being moved out of his way fast enough to suit him; seems like something was said — he unloaded it then ran around the central pillar of the store room to the checkout counter and looked at the small pile of Hallowe’en wax candies — flavored chewable wax formed into the likes of false teeth and little harmonicas — that yours truly was trying to get into some kind of order by stacking them in like piles. He seriously stared at the pile of candy for an instant then looked yours truly up and down and said something like, “You went to college to stack wax?”

There was no answer for an astonished long moment. It was a minute part of taking care of the candy displayed at the counter. He didn’t wait for an answer but ran back to check to see if the load of fruits and vegetables he had hauled to the edge of the produce area through the south door was okay, then he ran out that door to the Gentile truck parked in front of the place and immediately zoomed off, presumably to deliver whatever else he was delivering to whomever else he was delivering it to, if not to go back to his father’s produce commission house downtown.

There was no trip through college to “stack wax.” The wax candy business was simply a momentary and seemingly reasonable tiny element of a father’s business. His father’s business was commission merchant, and he was hauling crates of peaches and boxes of bananas for his father’s business. It might have been a case of they didn’t have a truck driver right then so he had to do it as an order had been called in that morning. It seems like his job was really to keep the fruits and vegetables in the commission house in good order and make sure the orders were properly loaded.

Last Edited by Guest on May 12, 2013 4:05 PM
Riverdale Ghost
343 posts
May 11, 2013
7:15 PM
The commission merchants supposedly started working around two or three in the morning. Store owners sometimes went downtown to buy things before they opened for business, and farmers and truck drivers might take in merchandise early for that day’s sales. Stuff got riper by the hour. Some store owners probably liked to pick out their own stuff and pay at the time, but they could also call if they had a decent working arrangement with a reliable commission merchant and didn’t happen to be the early bird variety, which we were not unless you call stocking shelves and the like until two a.m. some nights being an early bird.

The normal method for ordering at the store was to call, say what was wanted or ask what they had that was new and different. As noted, Gentile was reliable. Sometimes they had items that were rather unique for a smaller store. One time they got a load of endive from someone. Apparently some farmer decided to try something different, which led Gentile to be suggesting something different, which made for more daring stores to have something different. We got some. It’s always said, “Well, it’s something different.” Some of it got sold. It’s not done all of the time, especially with something like endive.

Last Edited by Guest on May 12, 2013 4:03 PM
Riverdale Ghost
344 posts
May 11, 2013
7:18 PM
St. Agnes Roman Catholic Church

At some point in time Charlie, Jr., may have been construed to be “an eligible male” by someone or someones. There really would not be much other reason for a passing mention among folks that Gentile belonged to St. Agnes church. Well, if they belonged to St. Agnes, they lived in Dayton View. That was high class. Most of the houses weren’t much different from other areas built around the same time, but that was high class and actually fitting because Gentile had a going, established business in the downtown that was quite probably worth somewhat more than ours — maybe not a lot more, just more.

If one has “eligible males” (or “eligible females”) in mind there has to be enough interaction to set things going, especially if the people are the kind that believe in “fated meetings.” Well, Charlie, Jr., didn’t do much of the delivering and yours truly didn’t do any of the bill paying or ordering; so, although in the many years of business association there were a couple of trips to the commission house when someone else went, any neat little meetings were not in the picture (small facts any match-makers around overlooked). Going to two different churches, one of them supposedly high class, also didn’t contribute to any interaction. Neither did the fact that what mothers (et. al.) have in mind may not be what offspring have in mind. Admittedly, on the surface, it would have been a rather standard “match.”

Last Edited by Guest on May 12, 2013 4:03 PM
Riverdale Ghost
345 posts
May 11, 2013
7:21 PM
The passing comment about St. Agnes church did come in handy in an unexpected way. An acquaintance from said college education absolutely raved about the St. Agnes young people’s club, which led to yours truly accompanying her to some of the meetings for a while. They did have group activities but for a slightly different lifestyle, i.e., office worker types. Anyone loading cases of merchandise as a part of a job didn’t need exercise activities, and social activities that amounted to stopping for a beer at a local bar miles away were for someone who didn’t have a strong inclination to stay sober.

One of the meetings turned out to be — shall we say — memorable. There were others who did not go to the church who were in the group. Another newbie was a guy from the base. We both sat there assessing matters for a couple of meetings, then the club president threw a monkey wrench of sorts into the works. It was summer time, and it was decided the group would attend a concert at Island park. Refreshments were to be brought by various people. Yours truly and the guy from the base were assigned to go buy some watermelons — enough for everyone — yours truly was to be the guide or something.

Last Edited by Guest on May 12, 2013 4:03 PM
Riverdale Ghost
346 posts
May 11, 2013
7:24 PM
Well, we carried watermelon in the store in season, but we didn’t happen to have any right then. If we did stock some, there was room for three or maybe four at the most if one could sit without refrigeration, which they could for a day or two but not for an extended period. The thought of going somewhere to buy some was unappealing and so was announcing to one parent or the other that six or seven watermelons had to be ordered outside of the normal routine of ordering. It was desirable that they should be both good and cheap. The way to get them cheap was to buy them wholesale at the commission house.

The young man was told to come by and pick up yours truly about five a.m., and we’d go down to Gentile’s and see what they had. Five a.m. was not his idea of “dating time,” but he dutifully showed up after it was explained the commission houses might open at three and it didn’t do to go later, but we could go earlier if he liked. At the entrance someone asked what was wanted and soon enough ran to get Charlie, Jr., who got told we needed to buy some watermelon for St. Agnes, the young people’s group, and seven watermelon was a wholesale amount. Charlie, Jr., seriously considered that for an instant and obliged.

Last Edited by Guest on May 12, 2013 4:04 PM
Riverdale Ghost
347 posts
May 11, 2013
7:26 PM
In the end, the young man from the base wasn’t looking for the type that wanted to be friends or who went poking through commission houses in the pre-dawn hours. He married the kind that wanted to sit home having babies, and they left Dayton to more or less tour the world. (It would never have worked out.) As for Charlie, Jr., judging by reports he met a nice girl that not only liked him but could take the three a.m. office hours, and they lived a good life — one could assume they were happy — and were part of a quiet little Dayton success story. It’s certainly sincerely hoped that’s the way things turned out, and from a distance it does seem to be so.

It was all in another era.

Avatar 1 Honest Communications Is The Foundation of Civilizations.
40 posts
May 12, 2013
8:33 AM
@Riverdale Ghost---Interesting posts, really enjoyed reading them! My dad was a produce buyer early 50s-80s and had many dealings with the produce houses on St. Clair st.. Early 60s I was around 10 years old and on saturday mornings my dad would take me downtown with him to pick out and buy his daily produce, off the street. I still remember the stacks of produce on skids stacked along the sidewalk, just unloaded from trucks during the night, stretching the entire length of Gentile's building. He and Charlie Sr. would converse back and forth about quality and price. Soon my dad had his orders picked out to be delivered later that morning. I hauled produce from Gentile for about 5 years early 80s for Imperial Foodtown and others, dealing with Charlie jr., Charlie III, and Bobby Gentile. Many memories now when I drive past that corner. One thing I really miss is the aroma of all the fruits and vegetables mixed together when you walked in to Gentile.
Riverdale Ghost
402 posts
Nov 15, 2013
6:40 AM
There are now a total of five articles on this.

1. Introduction (above)

2. About (under name)

3. Just Ruth

4. The Landlord

5. Legacy Of The Warner Brothers


Avatar 1 Honest Communications Is The Foundation of Civilizations.

Last Edited by Riverdale Ghost on Nov 15, 2013 6:41 AM

Post a Message

(8192 Characters Left)